Finding what works fantastically well…

September 8, 2014

“Most of what exists in the universe-our actions, and all other forces, resources, and ideas-has little value and yields little result; on the other hand, a few things work fantastically well and have tremendous impact. –Richard Koch”

An excerpt from: Mckeown, Greg. “Essentialism.” Crown Business, 2014-04-15. ibooks.

Dear friends,

The quote above is from a book I am reading that is having a big impact on me. This week I want to talk about being strategically choosy. The first step is to realize how many choices we really do have. The second step is to realize that our time, energy, and resources are finite, so we cannot possible say yes to all of our choices. This is a topic I plan to spend a couple of newsletters on. If what I am talking about today hits home for you, I highly recommend reading this book. There is something in it for all of us. In our athletic life, our work life, and our family life.

First, finding what works fantastically well

In today’s fast paced and interconnected society it is very seldom that we lack opportunity or information. The toughest challenge we have is to intelligently process and filter the information at our fingertips and use it to choose the opportunity that gives us the best return on our investment of time, energy, and money. This premise seems so obvious and logical, and yet, in my experience it is much harder to put into practice than I thought.

When it comes to our health and fitness it is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the information and opportunity coming at us from so many different angles especially through social media. There seem to be an infinite number of new studies, new diets, new top ten lists, and new training routines. If only we could try them all, perhaps one might even work!

Many times we think we CAN try them all. I call it a fitness or training goulash: a little bit of this thing my friend recommended, a little bit of that from the magazine I read, just a dash of technique from that youtube video, and the cherry on top is a massage or a chiropractic adjustment. Sometimes we keep adding a little bit here and a little bit there, and by the time we are finished we have no idea what is really working. After a few months or even weeks we are worn out from trying to keep up with it all, and then we might get so fed up that we give up on the whole endeavor.

Taking the time to choose wisely, and saying NO to more than we say yes to might just be the challenge of our age. How can we discern the few things that make a big difference from the things that make a small difference or none at all? Here are three simple places to start:

  1. Consider the reliability and credibility of the source of the information, do your due diligence.
  2. Try one new thing at a time, so you can evaluate if it works.
  3. Only say yes to the things that make a significant improvement in your fitness, training, or life.

Be someone or make something that works fantastically well

As I read the quote above, I think about what a risky topic this is. It works both ways, we should all be extremely selective when choosing what to do and who to listen to. How do I make sure that I am someone offering something worth saying YES to? If you have read this far then perhaps I have done a good job. I want to choose carefully where to focus my energy to make myself the best I can be, so I can continue to be someone worth listening to in my blog, on the deck, and on the podium. If I say yes to too many things I won’t be as effective at the things I want to be the best at. It makes logical sense, but I have to make a point of evaluating this every time I make a decision about how I want to spend my time. I know that as I get better at this skill I will be able to do a better job at the things I do decide are worth doing! If we are strategically choosier about what we say yes to, hopefully, we put ourselves in a position to be said yes to more often!